Discovering the Relevance of Words
I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand,
We’ll walk this road together,
Through the storm,
Whatever weather- cold or warm.
Just lettin’ you know that you’re not alone.
Holler if you feel like you’ve been down this same road.
-Eminem, Not Afraid
Marhsall Mathers, whether as Slim Shady, Eminem, or Marshall himself, has always spoken to me– first it was the cartoony persona who was too hopped up on dope and smack to feel a crack when he broke his back, then the lyrical genius who rhymed the iconic batman nana nana nana nana nana nana with fix your bent antenna tune it in and then I’m gunna in Without Me, and finally the (often painfully) honest poet taking those bold enough to follow on a continual journey of self-discovery, maturation, and personal growth.
Though, he probably explains it best himself: …kids flipped when they knew I was produced by Dre/That’s all it took and they were instantly hooked right in/And they connected with me too ‘cuz I looked like them (White America, The Eminem Show).
There are many who would be turned off by my description of Eminem as a poet due to his lyrical content, but would gladly chortle when Absolon hath kissed her nether ye or espouse the beauty of Uncle Walt insisting he “dare not withdraw till I deposit what has so long accumulated within me” and “drain the pent up rivers of myself”. Is that really so much worse that Eminem urging the dance crowd, “come on everybody, get down tonight”?
Singers, songwriters, rappers, hip-hop artists are our new minstrels. Our oral traditions are recorded and past around cyberspace and P2P sharing instead of a campfire, but the tradition is very much alive.
Sure, there are more songs and songwriter that do not fit into this mold than do, but there are more poems and stories that have been spoken, written, or recorded than history will remember. As Chris Rock famously stated, “It is hard to defend move b**** get out the way” on an intellectual level. There is not a lot of depth to Call Me, Maybe. Um, perhaps you would like me to call…
At the same time, though, Imagine all the people living life in peace and tell me why are we so blind to see that the ones we hurt are you and me.
QOTD: What song do you consider poetry? Whose lyrics inspire you poetically?
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